In 2011, California had the largest number of people under age 65 without health insurance — 7.1 million — of any US state. The percentage of uninsured Californians has risen steadily over the past two decades; the state now has the seventh-largest percentage of residents without coverage in the United States.
The percentage of Californians who have employer-based coverage continued to fall, dropping from 65% in 1987 to 52% in 2011. While public insurance has partially filled this gap, almost 22% of Californians remain uninsured. This statistic should change dramatically in the coming years as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is implemented.
Key findings in this annual update include:
- Nearly one in four workers in the state is uninsured.
- Employees in businesses of all sizes are more likely to be uninsured in California than in the US as a whole. In businesses with fewer than ten employees, slightly more than 40% of workers are likely to have no insurance.
- Nearly one-third of the uninsured in California and the nation have annual family incomes of $50,000 or more.
- Fifty-four percent of California's uninsured children are in families where the head of household worked full-time during 2011.
- Nearly 60% of the uninsured population is Latino.
The complete report, a quick reference guide, and the file of the Current Population Survey (CPS) data, along with past years' editions, are available as Document Downloads.
Related CHCF Pages below offers a link to California's Uninsured and Medi-Cal Populations: A Policy Guide to the Estimates, which provides specific advice to those who frequently need to cite estimates of the number of uninsured Californians using the CPS and California Health Interview Survey data sets.